Madonna And child
Giovanni Bellini

Click on the image above to see a larger version
Looking at this painting the viewer can instantly see Bellini's talent for depicting depth within a painting and his skill at creating the folds in the fabric of clothing. The viewer can almost reach out and touch the blue drapery of the Madonna and feel the fabric in their hands, while the landscape behind the Madonna gives a depth to the painting. Looking at the painting there are influences of Mantegna in the way the landscape is portrayed and the way the fabric is depicted can also be attributed to Mantegna, for if we compare the death of Christ and this painting side by side the similarities can easily be seen. Further the figures are a tribute to the work of Donatello an example of Donatello's bronzes can be seen below
The child in Madonna adoring the sleeping child is lying in a death like pose on a marble slab with his head supported by a cushion, the image would have reminded the viewer of Christ's death which is how Bellini intended this work. Not as a celebration of the Christ's birth but as a reminder of his dying. We today by our standards may not see the reference that Bellini is making but in Bellini's day the reference would have been all too clear to all who viewed this painting.


Mantegna
Donatello
The two main influences on this painting





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